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I just done some first test kilometers with the upgraded ignition on my '97 900SS.
So I thought a little review would be appropriate.

I changed the stock Kokusans ignition modules with an Ignitech TCIP-4, the stock coils with Nology PFC-15-S and upgraded the spark plugs to NGK DCPR8EIX.

For those who don't like to read a lot: Great upgrade!!

For those who want to know more about this (popular) upgrade: read on!

[Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with, funded or in any way associated with any of the brands or websites mentioned in this write-up. If I brake any forum-rules by mentioning or linking to these sites or brands, I apologize and ask the moderators to remove these sections or the complete write up. I also take no responsibility for damage or injuries caused by using this write-up. Every user should verify the info in the write-up and use it at is own risk.]

First of all: buying the stuff.

-Ignitech: just email the guys, tell them what bike you own, attach some pics of the ignition you are currently using and they’ll send you an offer. You’ll need the Ignitech module, and the wiring loom (or at least the connectors if you wanna do the wiring yourself). I also bought their USB-COM-connector to connect the ignitech to a laptop.

The software for the ignitech and the driver for the USB-COM-connector can be downloaded for free from their website.

If you ask for it they will pack the Ignitech with a map suitable for your bike. It might not be the ideal map, but it will most likely be a good starting point.

If you wanna install the Ignitech under the seat and like to use the 2-pin and 3-pin connectors (to be just plug and play) ask the Ignitech guys for a wiring loom that is +/- 25cm (10”) longer then the one they usually provide (which is just to short for under-seat installation).

-Manuals: Something you don’t really need but I strongly advice buying: The Fast Bike Gear User Guide for Ignitech TCIP-4. Great source, lots of background info on ignitions. Cheap. Mail FBG, pay them (PayPal is possible) and they’ll send you a copy.

-Nology PFC-coils: Can be found on numerous websites. I used the 1,5Ohm version. I read in the FBG-guide that they first advised using the 0,6Ohm version but now they have a “perfect matched” pair of Nology’s for the Ignitech. Those are 1Ohm so I figured 0,6Ohm was a little too low. Problem is that the 1Ohm version is only available through FBG and they would be too expensive for me (shipping to Europe, taxes, customs) so I went for the 1,5Ohms. Bought them at Peter Hackner in Germany.

-NGK Iridium Plugs: can be found anywhere. I used NGK DCPR8EIX with the gap adjusted to 0,9mm.

-Spark plug caps: VERY IMPORTANT!!! If you use resistor spark plugs (they’ll have an “R” in their type-code “DCPR8EIX”) you HAVE TO use non-resistor spark plug caps. When using an Ignitech there can only be one resistor in the sparkpluglead-sparkplugcap-sparkplug-circuit. You can use resistor spark plug caps but then you’ll have to use non-resistor spark plugs (which are more difficult to find so I just bought non-resistor spark plug caps (NGK LZ_HF)

This is very important!! Lots of complaints on the internet about Ignitech could be avoided by using non-resistor spark plug caps. To my opinion, Ignitech should point that out stronger.

NOTE: the Nology coils and Iridium spark plugs are optional. You can use a Ignitech with the stock coils and regular spark plugs as well.

The cost:

Just around €400 (shipping to Europe incl) for Ignitech, 2x Nology, 2x NGK Iridium and some extra nuts and bolts for the custom coil-bracket.

The installation (Ignitech only):

Pretty straight forward. Each of the Kokusans have a 2-pin and 3-pin connector. The Ignitech also has 2-pin and 3-pin connectors. Unplug the connectors from one Kokusan and plug the in a pair (black or white) coming from the Kokusans. The connectors from the other Kokusan need to be plugged in the other Ignitech connectors.

Big question: which connector goes where? There’s a few ways for determining that.

a) don’t bother. If you plugged them in the wrong way you can later switch them in the ignitech software.
b) take a look at the 2-pin connector coming from the bike. The one with the white wire in it has to go to the white 2-pin Ignitech connector. The white Ignitech 3-pin connector goes to the 3-pin from that same Kokusan.
c) the white connectors coming from the ignitech are for the horizontal cylinder (at least on my bike)

Another question that popped up: one of the 3-pin Ignitech connector has only one wire connected but still it goes in a 3-pin connector that has 3 wires. Is this okay?
Yes, it is. That’s just because you had 2 Kokusans which both needed “+” and “-“ and now you just have 1 Ingitech that obviously only needs 1 “+” and “-“.
Don’t bother about these ‘extra unused’ wires. Just leave them where they are.
Just make sure that you keep both connectors from each Kokusan together. The connectors from one Kokusans go to black, the others to white.

The Nology installation (optional):

Pretty easy but some things need to be altered. You can’t use the stock bracket as the Nology mounting points are not the same as the stock-coil mounting points. I fabricated a new bracket for the Nology’s.(see pics below) I also needed one new connector per coil as the Nology have two equal-sized connectors and the stock coils have one that’s just too narrow for the Nology’s. Just cut the wire and krimp on a new, correct-sized, connector.

If you sorted that out there’s no more to it then plugging the “-“ and “+” in the appropriate connectors on the coils. (“+” en “-“ are marked both on the stock coils and on the Nology’s, you hardly can go wrong here)

Problems I came along:

Tight fitting. I didn’t find enough space for the Ignitech and the Nology’s behind the airbox (stock position of the Kokusans) so I moved the Ignitech under the seat. That way, there’s plenty of room for the Nology’s. I fabricated a new bracket for the coils, ditched the 3-pin connectors, routed those wires along the right side of the frame and soldered the wires. I also ditched the 2 pin connectors (to the pick-ups) and routed those wires to the frame on the left side of the bike.

(See wiring diagram below, colors are not correct because white wires won’t show against a white background)

Advantages of this way of installation:

A) Less change of interference between the spark plug leads and the pick up leads as they no longer cross each other at the point where the spark plug leads go down to the engine and the pick up leads come up to the Kokusans. (At the left side of the bike, just behind the breather tube going to the airbox). (see pic below)
B) You get rid of the non-waterproof connectors
C) Much easier to disconnect when removing the airbox to work on the carbs or so. Just unplug the spark plug leads and disconnect the coils.
D) Less visible wires behind the airbox (purely esthetical)

The test:

Just start the bike.
I my case the bike wouldn’t start with the newly installed Ignitech. I checked the software and found that the “base advance”-setting was set to 10. I changed that to 6 and that cured the problem. Bike ran fine with the map that came with the Ignitech. See FBG manual for setting up the map to your specifications.


The review of the finished installation:

Great upgrade as far as I’m concerned. Biggest advantage is the much smoother ride at low rpm’s. I use the bike a lot to commute and I drive it through sleepy villages at 6a.m. so I try to keep the rpm’s low at such places. I can easily go as low as 2200rpm and still have a smooth ride. Before the Ignitech I had to keep the engine running at about 3000rpm for a rather smooth ride. And even when cruising at 2200rpm, the bike picks up without any hesitation when I open the throttle.

I didn’t do a dyno-run but it seems to me that the power and torque are more lineair then with the Kokusans.

I don’t think I got any extra HP (which is not important to me anyway) but the bike is much more comfortable to ride and that’s exactly what I was looking for.

Some pics:

The custom-made bracket for the Nology coils:
987089



The Nology coils after installation:
987090



The wiring-diagram (colours not correct). Wires to coils on the left, wires to pick-ups on the right:

Ignitech Wiring.jpg


Wire colours (on my bike, not sure these were the stock colours). Ignitech connectors on top, bike connectors below):
987093



Ignitech mounted under the seat (using zip-ties through drilled holes):

IMG_20200316_113451956.jpg



Piece of foam under the ignitech to fill up the gap and mount it "vibration free".
987096


Split wiring loom at the Ignitech unit:
987098


No risk of interference between spark plug leads and pick-up wires anymore (pick-up wires are zip-tied to the frame and go straight to the Ignitech):
987099
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Additional:

mounting the Ignitech under the seat leaves plenty of room for the coils at the back of the airbox.
That's why I mounted them at an angle.
This way the spark plug leads don't make any sharp angles when going down.
And I could make sure that the mounting points for the bracket are accessible with the coils mounted.

987103



987104
 

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I haven't done this yet, but will one day.

Re the coils; back in 2013 FBG used to recomm 0.6 ohm, and now recommend 1.0. I wonder why?

Great write up, cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't done this yet, but will one day.

Re the coils; back in 2013 FBG used to recomm 0.6 ohm, and now recommend 1.0. I wonder why?

Great write up, cheers.
I've noticed that too.
I think this is what happened.

In the FBG Ignitech manual is says that "lower is better" when it comes to coil resistance. I've talked about that with friends and on different forums and mostly I got a "OK, low is better but 0,6Ohm seems extremely low to me"-reaction. So maybe 0,6 Ohm was indeed a bit too low and FBG started looking for coils with just a bit more resistance. The next Nology in line are the 1,5 Ohm's (the ones I used). I guess they were just a bit too high so FBG negotiated with Nology and now has their own 1,0 Ohm coils specially made for them.
I don't know too much about motorcycle electricity but I asume someone with a bit of knowlegde can calculate the 'best' coil resistance. And that's what FBG probably did.

My idea was: if 0,6 Ohm is too low and (stock) 3,0 Ohm is too high (but will work with no problems), 1,5 Ohm will do fine. It's lower then 3,0 Ohm (and lower is better) and it's not as low as the 0,6 Ohm (which seems to be a bit too low after all). And it's pretty close to the 'ideal' 1,0 Ohm resistance.
The reason I didn't go for the FBG 1,0 Ohm coils is just money. Buying these coils in New Zealand would have been crazy expensive thanks to VAT, Customs, Shipping,...

Anyway: the 1,5 ohm coils work perfectly on my bike. Stock coils should also work perfectly but since they started to look really bad I replaced them.
And the more I ride the bike with these upgrades (Ignitech and Nology) the more happy I'm with them. But as I installed them together, I can not tell if it's the Ignitech or the Nology's which make the bigger difference...
 

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Yeah, makes sense what you said re 0.6 vs 1.0.

I planned on doing Ignitech etc, but recently have lost an income stream that gave me some 'bike money', so now will have to put the plan on hold. When I do do it I'll copy your coil mount 'cos I like it :).

Cheers.
 
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